Friday, 21 April 2017
The waiting is almost over.
Saturday presents City's first opportunity to gain the championship and therefore promotion back to the football league off their own bat. Last Monday was a possibility but that was dependant on Tranmere dropping points. Now, thanks to that most unlikely six points over the Easter weekend City can win the league if they win themselves tomorrow. Current form is excellent, current performances not so.
Danny Cowley does not need any reminding that the last two or three outings haven’t produced great football but at this stage of the season we’d sit through anything for three points. We’re promised better:-
"It will be a brilliant occasion, if we make it happened," Danny Cowley told the assembled press. "But we have to make it happen and we have to play better.
"It won't just happen because it is a great occasion. That won't be enough to get us over the line.
"It's not often opportunities come round that have life-changing consequences. The most successful people take those opportunities and we have to grasp it and seize the day.
"We're going to play better on Saturday. We're determined as a group to play better than we did on Monday”
Whether Saturday, in front of the cameras and a sell-out crowd is conducive to a more relaxed display I’m not sure but these managers and players came to Lincoln for just this sort of occasion. I don’t think anyone expected the progress to be quite so spectacular though. Cowley is quite right, this is an opportunity for our players to become better players, league players. Whatever people may say about the National League being more professional, Division Five, all that but if you are a football league player you are a cut above. I hope they will have that thought in their minds.
The return of the fans is gratifying but it will be interesting to see where the support settles at come the beginning of next season. I’d be disappointed if attendances aren’t considerably up on where they were last time were in the league, always assuming City can get over the line.
As ever, the key to a better performance, in my view, is an early goal. Get that and I expect City to stroll it. If not, squeaky bum time again.